The intention here was to write about someone or something other than Troy Parrott.
There were other subplots that could have been elevated to lead item status on what was admittedly a
“He has not been that talkative (in camp this week) but he stood up and sung last night,” said the Irish boss of the 17-year old. “He's confident: he can stand up and sing, play football, good looking, There you go: where did it all go wrong for him?”
Well, how could we not start off with that?
Parrott's choice of song, incidentally, was 'Stand By Me'.
As tunes go it was a particularly timely and appropriate one for a player who expressed the wish after
McCarthy, happy though he was with the teenager's 60 or so minutes, didn't give off the air of a man who was going to place the success of his second coming as Republic of Ireland manager in the hands a callow teenager, regardless of how much hype there may be about him.
“Troy did okay,” said the gaffer.
“He didn't set the world on fire but what he did I was really pleased with. There were a couple of runs down the channels and a few chances. I know everyone is desperate for him to score but he did well overall.”
McCarthy spent a decade-and-a-half doing whatever it took to stymie the creative instincts of forwards of every hue, so he knows something about how it must be for the young Dubliner, even in an era when centre-halves have to rein in the more destructive side of their personalities.
“Oh, he can handle himself, I don't doubt that. I don't want him to be hurting anyone but he tracked their centre-half who got all upset with a tackle. Well done. It's what it's all about. He's going to try and kick him all over the place and bully him but he stood up to him. So well done.”
There were more words of praise to spread about.
Sean Maguire, named man of the match on the night, got first mention.
Alan Browne and Josh Cullen were given the nod for their efforts in midfield and Kevin Long felt most of the love with McCarthy expressing his astonishment at how a player with so little club football under his belt could play so well here.
Others were given their due when their names were put to him: Jack Byrne for his improved work off the ball, Derrick Williams for the opening goal and his all-round play. Robbie Brady for some good - and for some bad.
McCarthy said this week that a 90-minute shift for the midfielder would point to the likelihood that he might not feature against the Danes but he was more circumspect when that was repeated back to him after Brady played through to the final whistle.
“You can assume what you want,” he said with a wry smile.
He had reason to be happy enough with his lot. It's not often that the Republic score three goals, never mind the quality of the opposition, but he doesn't need telling that this was a night that needs to be taken in context.
“Four full debuts, all been involved in a win, three players have scored their first goals for their country. No points on offer. Will it make any difference to us on Monday? Who knows? It might change how we are perceived as a team anyway.”
Not likely. That will depend on how they deal with the Danes.